STATEMENT: CAP’s Neera Tanden Applauds Colorado Voters’ Passage of Paid Family and Medical Leave

Washington, D.C. — On Election Day, voters in Colorado overwhelmingly approved Proposition 118 to create a permanent paid family and medical leave insurance program in the state. Colorado is the first state to pass such a policy by ballot measure and joins eight states and the District of Columbia with paid family and medical leave policies. Beginning January 2024, Proposition 118 will provide Colorado workers with 12 weeks of paid leave to recover from their own serious health condition, care for a seriously ill family member, or care for a new child. The initiative was championed by many Center for American Progress partners, such as 9to5 Colorado, Family Values @ Work, A Better Balance, Colorado State Sen. Faith Winter (D), Colorado Rep. Matt Gray (D), and many other partners and organizers, including members of the Paid Leave for All campaign.

Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement today:

Colorado voters’ passage of a strong paid family and medical leave ballot measure is a resounding victory for working families, guaranteeing 2.6 million Colorado workers access to this critical benefit. This historic win is the result of powerful organizing on the ground from CAP’s coalition partners and demonstrates the immense public support for paid leave policies. Voters have sent a clear message that they support progressive work-family policies that allow workers to care for themselves and their families without risking their economic security, which is especially important in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

This victory also adds new momentum in the fight to win a permanent, national paid family and medical leave policy. Far too many workers across the country lack access to any form of paid leave and are forced to make impossible choices between recovering their health or caring for a new child and maintaining their job or a paycheck. As the emergency paid leave policies passed in response to the coronavirus are set to expire at the end of 2020, Congress must act to follow public support and guarantee paid leave for all.

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